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12 May 2021

11th May 2021

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Yip Hon Weng
MP for Yio Chu Kang GRC

Question No. 607

To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether healthcare providers are allowed to flag suspicious injuries on vulnerable persons including foreign domestic workers to the relevant authorities without the permission of the victims or their guardians; and (b) what is the procedure to report suspected abuse; and (c) how will these reports be handled.

Written Answer

1 Medical practitioners should maintain a high index of suspicion for potential abuse when they notice unexplained or non-accidental injuries on patients including vulnerable persons, such as the young, the disabled, and Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs). Medical practitioners are legally obligated under Section 424 of the Criminal Procedure Code to notify the Police immediately when they are aware of the commission of, or the intention of, any other person to commit abuse, unless there is a reasonable excuse not to do so. There is no legal requirement to obtain patient’s consent before lodging a Police report. 

2 To facilitate the Police’s investigations, medical practitioners are required to provide details in the Police notification form including description of the injuries sustained, the circumstances of the sustained injuries and incident location as reported by the patient and accompanying person.

3 Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, the Police may commence investigations into relevant offences.